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Music-Generating Dance Floor

At this point, why not?
  [vote for,

Having been born considerably back in the 20th century, I turn on the radio these days and am impressed by the apparently total lack of meaning in pop music. You have a drum loop, a few synth licks, and maybe someone chanting something so quickly and inarticulately that they could be reading an upside-down phonebook.

So why go to all the trouble to actually have musicians record stuff? Why not have a dance floor that used dancers' footsteps in particular areas to trigger contemporary music-type sounds (e.g., pianos being dropped from third-story windows, rocks being fed through tree-shredders, etc.)?

You'd want a basic dance-tempo beat to go along with it, of course; this could be provided by a large, motorized metal drum containing a couple of anvils.

Oh, and of course you'd want a celebrity DJ who would stand in a raised, illuminated booth and occasionally "fade" one group of dancers into another. (Not being a music professional, I can't immediately suggest a way to do this---but if people can become celebrity performers by playing other people's records, anything is possible.)

And please don't link this to that oversize foot-operated keyboard in "Big." I'm not talking about something that can actually produce a tune.

Ander, Jul 31 2004


       for a professional musician, composer etc. you seem to have a narrow definition of music. this is a neat idea, but not for the reasons you think it is.
xclamp, Jul 31 2004

       Hey, I think I heard you on FM this morning!
Ander, Jul 31 2004

       Interactive composition is a really interesting field; too bad you only use it to express your dislike for pop music.
jutta, Jul 31 2004

       Bit of a nit-picking point I know, but don't classical conductors become celebrity performers by playing other people's tunes? DJ Karajan, etc. You could even stretch the point a little and say that orchestras are just big, sprawling tribute bands. Albeit with a little more musical skill.
lostdog, Jul 31 2004

       Now just wait a minute, in your profile you write //I'm a professional musician//, but in this idea posting you say //Not being a music professional, I//.   

       How am I supposed to come to terms with this apparent contradiction?
Laughs Last, Jul 31 2004

       This reminds me of my buddy's synthesizer, which had some settings where you could set the arpegiator and filters and mess with its LFOs and such the thing would pretty much play itself as a solid dance electronica tune. All you had to do was quide it through different chords with an occasional key press or tweak the sound with an occasional knob turn. We were thinking it would make for an interesting club where different objects throughout were linked to those keys and knobs, and then folks dancing could interact with the song by touching or moving things, changing its feel and experimenting with it. Perhaps has this been done before?   

       To make your idea of using the dancer's footsteps to make the beat, you could use a tiled floor with buttons under each tile. Link those buttons back to a MIDI controller of some sort where your "DJ" would be reassigning different tiles to different drum machine sounds and mixing them with each other and existing tracks and such to keep it as musical as possible. Sophisticated lighting rigs exist where you could link this together and point spotlights at the tiles being used in the sound.
gomer, Jul 31 2008

       Loved the descriptions ! Anvils in a drum, etc...   

       The thing that makes this work is the live DJ and the notion of fading between groups. You could also have lights (Billie Jean vid anyone?) and when the music focuses on an area, video screens would too.   

       The whole of the dance floor won't sound good all the time, but with savvy live editing, and a base beat already going, the 'notes' of the best dancers at any one time, or linking them to MIDI notes as gomer said, could be a really collaborative vibe. Full croissant !
DeanRadcliffe, Mar 20 2009


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